Iroha Islands is the name of the 48 islands, big and small, in Imari Bay, which are a part of Genkai Quasi-National Park. The name "Iroha" was given by Kukai (Kobo-Daishi), and comes from the fact that the Japanese hiragana script has 48 main characters, the same as the number of islands. "Iroha" is the equivalent of "ABC" in English. The beauty of the blue ocean and the green islands floating on it was so great that apparently even Kukai was overwhelmed. With the exception of Shimayama Island, none of these islands are accessible, but it is possible to look out over the Iroha Islands from the lookout situated on high ground. "Hana-to-Boken-no-Shima" (The Island of Flowers and Adventures) is located around the entire periphery (1.3 km) of Shimayama Island.
"Hana-to-Boken-no-Shima" consists of "Fureai Shizen Juku Hizen", which has a cottage for overnight accommodation, a bath where one can experience a Goemon Ishikawa bath, camping facilities and so on. In summer, there are two designated ocean swimming spots to enjoy. Moreover, this area is extremely popular amongst sea kayakers due to its calm water. People who don't own a sea kayak can request one in advance by contacting Fureai Shizen Juku Hizen and enjoy touring the sea on a rental kayak suited to one's skill and physical strength (accompanied by an instructor). With a focus on camping, this is a wonderful place aimed at nature-lovers where one can have various experiences with nature and fully enjoy the beautiful scenery.
From train station: Get off a train at Karatsu Station on the JR Karatsu Line and Chikuhi Line, get on Showa Bus bound for Takakushi, Irino, Hoshika or Nouso via Kirigo at Oteguchi Bus Center, get off at “Magarikawa” stop, and walk for 25 minutes
Car: 70-minute drive from Nagasaki Expressway Taku IC
Bus: Get on Showa Bus bound for Takakushi, Irino, Hoshika or Nouso via Kirigo at Oteguchi Bus Center, get off at “Magarikawa” stop, and walk for 25 minutes
● Entry Fee: Free
● Parking Lot: Accommodates 140 cars (free of charge)
● Contact: Hizen Branch Office, Karatsu City Government, Tel: +81-955-53-7145